What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

Alligators are slightly larger and more bulky than crocodiles. A wild alligator can reach up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) in length, and weigh up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms). Besides the two animals’ size difference, the easiest way to tell them apart is by their snout. A crocodile has a very long, narrow, V-shaped snout, while the alligator has a wider, U-shaped snout. The alligator’s wide snout delivers more crushing power to eat prey like turtles, which make up a large part of the animal’s diet. The crocodile’s upper and lower jaws are nearly the same width, so its teeth are exposed all along the jaw line in an interlocking pattern, even when its mouth is closed. An alligator, on the other hand, has a wider upper jaw, so when its mouth is closed the teeth in the lower jaw fit into sockets of the upper jaw, hidden from view. South Florida is the only known place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together in the same area.


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